These are my links for December 11th through December 12th:
- California: A new ‘Mad Max’ sequel? – Californians increasingly may be on their own against criminals because of state and local budget problems. Two recent reports are scary.KCBS wrote, “Burglaries are up a startling 43 percent in Oakland this year compared to last, part of an ever-growing crime problem in the city…. The city could be down to a little more than 600 [police] officers by February, which would be 200 fewer than in 2008.”In San Bernardino, according to CBS News, “[City Attorney Jim] Penman said the city is dealing with bankruptcy, which has forced officials to cut its police force by about 80 officers.” Consequently, there’s been growing criticism about the police department’s response time.
“Let’s be honest, we don’t have enough police officers. We have too many criminals living in this city. We have had 45 murders this year … that’s far too high for a city of this size,” Penman said.
Talking to a local group, Mr. Penman also said, “Go home, lock your doors and load your gun.”
- $822,000 Worker Shows California Leads U.S. Pay Giveaway – The California payroll totals reflected in the Bloomberg data have their roots in wage negotiations carried out during Davis’s time as governor.One of the first goals of state employee unions when Davis took over in 1999 after 16 years of Republican governors was to unwind curbs on pensions put in place by Governor Pete Wilso n in 1991. Workers also wanted broad wage increases.Unions persuaded the California Public Employees’ Retirement System to sponsor legislation called Senate Bill 400, which sweetened state and local pensions and gave retroactive increases for tens of thousands of retirees. Highway-patrol officers were granted the right to retire after 30 years of service with 90 percent of their top salaries, a benefit that was copied by police agencies across the state.
California’s annual payment toward pension obligations ballooned to $3.7 billion in the current fiscal year from $300 million when the bill was enacted. Some cities that adopted the highway-patrol pension plan later cited those costs for contributing to their bankruptcy filings.
Davis and the Legislature also agreed to labor contracts that gave 164,000 state workers pay increases of 4 percent in 1999 and again in 2000. Those contracts cost the state an extra $1.3 billion within a year, according to the state’s independent Legislative Analyst’s Office.
There were more to come.
- Democrats continue to find out what was in ObamaCare–and try to dismantle it – The Affordable Care Act was bad legislation, in part because it depended on plenty of imaginary budget savings. “This is a coverage bill, not a cost reduction bill,” top Senate staffer David Bowen said to a K Street audience after the bill passed. Bowen said that Senate Democrats had decided to do the same thing Massachusetts had done: “do coverage first, knowing that that would bring on a cost battle second.”But since the passage of Obamacare, the cost-controls and offsets have one-by-one been stripped out.First, Democrats killed the ill-conceived long-term-care-insurance measure, known as the CLASS Act. This provision, which provided government insurance for long-term care, was, amazingly, booked as reducing the deficit. This was ridiculous, and after the bill passed, Democrats realized it was a disaster, and they repealed the provision.
Another reason the bill was supposed to “reduce the deficit” was an unusually onerous tax hike on small businesses. The provision, known as the “1099 provision” would have forced small businesses to file all sorts of new paperwork for all sorts of transactions (sell a digital camera, file a 1099), in the hope of picking up transactions that are taxable. Congress also repealed that provision.
And now the health-care-industry lobbies that supported this subsidy-and-mandate-laden bill are lobbying to kill the cost-controls that offset the costs of its subsidies. All sorts of providers are lobbying to kill the Independent Payment Advisory Board. And the medical-device industry has convinced two Democratic Obamacare-backing Senators to try to kill the medical device tax:
- Krauthammer: Right-To-Work “An Adjustment To Reality” – CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: This is an adjustment to reality. The fact is that, you know, in the glory days the 40s, the 50s, the 60’s, the UAW was able to give its workers the highest wages, benefits in the world. That was because of an anomaly that we were only industrial country that came out of second World War intact. Europe was on its knees, Germany and Japan were rubble. So, we thought that was the natural order of things. It wasn’t.And when the other industrial countries recovered, we got world competition as we have. We ran into bankruptcies, Chrysler now twice. We see that in the southern states where the transplants are without the unions. They weren’t the ones who went bankrupt last in 2008 and 2009. So it really is a choice. It’s a tough choice, and I sympathize with the unions, but the fact is that in the global economy where you have to compete on wages and other elements, of the units of production, you can you either have, you know, high wages with low employment or you can, as Obama would say, spread around the wealth.The fact is that in the right-to-work states, unemployment is 6.9%. And in the other stays the non-right-to-work, it’s 8.7. So you can choose to have fewer workers who enjoy higher, inflated, unnatural, if you like, wages, uncompetitive wages. Or you can have competitive wages and more people employed, more people with the dignity of a job and less unemployment, more taxation and more activity. I think it’s it the right choice but I understand how it’s a wrenching choice.
- Union bastion Michigan joins right-to-work states -
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-11 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-11 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-11 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-11
- Sitar Master Ravi Shankar Dies at Age 92 – Speakeasy – WSJ – R.I.P. RT @WSJ: Breaking: Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar dies at 92
- Fiscal cliff: GOP makes another counteroffer – House Republicans say they have sent President Barack Obama a fresh proposal that would “achieve tax and entitlement reform to solve our looming debt crisis and create more American jobs.”“As the speaker said today, we’re still waiting for the White House to identify what spending cuts the president is willing to make as part of the ‘balanced approach’ he promised the American people,” said Michael Steel, Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman. “The longer the White House slow-walks this process, the closer our economy gets to the fiscal cliff.”
- Day By Day December 11, 2012 – Back in the USSR – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day December 11, 2012 – Back in the USSR #tcot
- Wealthy group that includes Warren Buffett, Jimmy Carter calls for heftier estate tax – The Hill’s On The Money – Let them pay it all RT @thehill: Wealthy group that includes Warren Buffett, Jimmy Carter calls for heftier estate tax
- Obamacare fee of $63 per person to begin in 2014 – Your medical plan is facing an unexpected expense, so you probably are, too. It’s a new, $63-per-head fee to cushion the cost of covering people with pre-existing conditions under President Obama’s health care overhaul.The charge, buried in a recent regulation, works out to tens of millions of dollars for the largest companies, employers say. Most of that is likely to be passed on to workers.Employee benefits lawyer Chantel Sheaks calls it a “sleeper issue” with significant financial consequences, particularly for large employers.
“Especially at a time when we are facing economic uncertainty, [companies will] be hit with a multimillion-dollar assessment without getting anything back for it,” said Mr. Sheaks, a principal at Buck Consultants, a Xerox subsidiary.
- Crossroads GPS Targets Democratic Senators Over The Fiscal Cliff – Crossroads GPS Targets Democratic Senators Over The Fiscal Cliff #tcot
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: American Dental Association Announces Resin Infiltration Procedure Code – American Dental Association Announces Resin Infiltration Procedure Code
- The Morning Flap: December 11, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: December 11, 2012 #tcot